Versailles premiered last year with a lot of viewers and critics complaining of the number of explicit sex scenes amongst the gore and bloodshed that happened throughout the season. Period dramas most of the time take very little artistic license when it comes to their screening debut, or any part of their future episodes. If anyone remembers Colin Firth’s Darcy, that was as sexy as you’d get, emerging from a river looking rugged and handsome, his see-through white shirt was as far as production teams would go in making a show ‘sexy.’
Jump forward 27 years later and here we are watching a drama with 30+ sex scenes, that you would never have got with an existing drama, whatever the decade. This period drama, set in the years following 1667, follows King Louis XIV, the most notorious French womanising, war-mongering monarch, who struggled to hold his court together, whilst keeping many mistresses and trying to keep his people at bay. Last year Versailles was the most talked about TV show, mostly because of the nudity. The show has beautiful costumes, extravagant luxurious interior and so much wealth.
I was intrigued by the show. I’m not a fan of bloody, violent programs and never have been, but I do love a good drama when one debuts and sometimes a good distraction is what’s needed. This drama ticked all the boxes for me, as I was pregnant and needed distraction from the lack of friends I had in my new hometown. The opening episode drew in much of the shock that critics had already branded the show. Maybe it’s because of the BBC we didn’t think they’d take a risk like this but I think it’s paid off. Ok, some of the scenes aren’t needed, it does go on a bit with some of the explicit content, but I enjoy this colourful period drama. I used to sometimes skip an episode or two, so that I could watch it all on catch up in a row at one time. I think it’s a success, it’s an addiction and now that season 2 is here, I’m pleased that I, amongst the other 1.5 million people who are enjoying the drama have 10 episodes to tickle our fancy.
Versailles is on Fridays on BBC 2 at 9 pm. On 14 September 2016 producer Claude Chelli confirmed that Versailles has been renewed for a third season, which will begin filming in April 2017.